• Newlands groundsman wants fitting farewell

    Groundsman Evan Flint is eager to prepare ‘the best pitch’ for this week’s second Test between South Africa and Pakistan as a parting gift to Newlands in Cape Town.

    Flint has resigned as the iconic venue’s curator – and will begin work at the Wanderers in Johannesburg later this year.

    ‘I haven’t thought about it much, to be honest. I have a job to do. I have to prepare the best pitch that I can, so don’t have time to dwell on my own personal stuff,’ he told Cricket365.

    ‘I was just a young buck when they took a chance on me. I will always be grateful for the opportunity and have made some great friends down here. I wish I could take every one of my ground staff with me.

    ‘But I have been here for more than 10 years, so when the offer came from the Wanderers I thought it would be a good new challenge.’

    The Proteas will likely name all-rounder Vernon Philander in the XI for the clash at Newlands. He missed the series opener at SuperSport Park in Centurion due to injury. He could probably replace fast bowler Duanne Olivier, spinner Keshav Maharaj or batsman Theunis de Bruyn.

    ‘Vernon’s record here speaks for itself. But I’m glad I don’t get paid to make those tough decisions,’ added Flint.

    Right-armer Philander has taken 49 of his 205 Test wickets at Newlands. The veteran all-rounder’s batting and bowling average at the Cape Town ground is substantially stronger than his career record in both codes, too.

    Photo: Gallo

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